Zimbabwean sign
Native toZimbabwe
Native speakers
73,000 (2021)[1]
280,000 deaf members of the Zimbabwe National Association of the Deaf
several Deaf-community sign languages of unknown origin
  • Masvingo School Sign
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3zib

Several Zimbabwean sign languages developed independently among deaf students in different Zimbabwean schools for the deaf starting in the 1940s. It is not clear how many languages they are, as little research has been done; Masvingo School Sign is known to be different from that of other schools,[2] but each school apparently has a separate sign language, and these are different from the community language or languages used outside of the schools.[1] "Sign language", without further clarification, became one of Zimbabwe's official national languages with the Constitution of 2013.[3]


  1. ^ a b Zimbabwean sign at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Masvingo School Sign". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ "Downloads | Constitution of Zimbabwe". Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.